Reviewed by Kathleen R. McNamara
Love and marriage are central to our lives, yet scholars rarely consider how they might matter for politics.
Reviewed by Kathleen R. McNamara
Love and marriage are central to our lives, yet scholars rarely consider how they might matter for politics.
Reviewed by Jan Kühne
In the nineteenth century, Argentina was the country with the second-largest number of immigrants, behind only the United States.
Reviewed by Alexis Herr
The Guardians of Memory and the Return of the Xenophobic Right by Valentina Pisanty addresses the dramatic rise in racism and intolerance among countries where memory of the Holocaust is pursued with the greatest vigor and, in some cases, where Holocaust denial is a criminal offense.
Reviewed by James McSpadden
Who was the most important German left-wing activist of the nineteenth century? Readers of Jacobin and the Wall Street Journal could easily give you the same answer: Karl Marx.
Reviewed by Max Sater
A comparative study of the disease control policies in Britain and the US from 1793, when Philadelphia experienced an outbreak…
Reviewed by Vassilissa Carangio
Any discussion of feminist theory in both academic and activist feminist circles cannot exist without recognizing women’s differences.
Reviewed by Martin Rosenstock
She doesn’t shy away from pointing toward the bearings her work has upon the contemporary scene of German politics and culture.
Reviewed by Yao Lu
As the current pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement reveal, the issue of race has been one of the most salient global issues since at least the 1960s.
Reviewed by Tanvi Solanki
In today’s Europe, ruins present themselves both as timely and untimely. In cultural discourse, as materials, they are often associated with quaint tourist attractions. As metaphor and process, however, they are timelier than ever before.
Reviewed by Bruce Hayes
Guynn’s book is intentionally polemical, seeking to redress supposed mischaracterizations of farce by scholars like me.
Reviewed by John R. Bowen
Through the many studies, stories, and films made about post-war Muslim migration to Western Europe, each major country projects its own dominant image. France has its North African immigrants, Germany has its Turks…
Reviewed by Tracey Heatherington
The rich case studies in this volume explore distinctively European contexts of activism to challenge the dominance of industrial food systems.
Reviewed by Michael Subialka
The European avant-gardes exploded onto the scene in the decade leading up to the Great War and imposed new visions of art and culture in the decades after it.
Reviewed by Sarah S. Willen
A nuanced analysis of the distinctive approach to “cultural competence” undergirding Centre Minkowska’s work.
Reviewed by Alec Medine
Covers the history of Eastern and Central European nationalities from their inception as imperial subject-peoples in the 18th century.
Reviewed by Hunter Bivens
Discussions of world literature often have little that is concrete to say about class. Recent scholarly interventions have attempted to address this lacuna by grounding theories of world literature in the dynamics of the capitalist world system and the uneven distribution of conditions of labor across the globe.
Reviewed by Geoff Hare
Footballing culture (men’s professional football/soccer) developed in the greater Manchester area from the mid-nineteenth century to the inter-war period.
Reviewed by Pınar Odabaşı Taşcı
The experiences of Ottoman children and youth, an understudied segment of Ottoman society, open new venues of research that highlight this agency to deal with the enormous challenges of wartime.
Reviewed by Emily Meneghin
The book analyzes five films and references even more academic disciplines, including history, industrial economics, oral memoir, acoustics, environmentalism, chemistry, geology, socio-economic politics, culinary studies, and more.
Reviewed by Natalia Núñez Bargueño
The book describes the nature of ongoing tensions over their active role within the Church and within contemporary Italian society.
By Hélène B. Ducros
This roundtable juxtaposes reviews of three recent books―two monographs and one edited volume―that delve into the role of Catholicism in influencing the social history of Europeans and Europe’s place in the world, and challenge the very conceptualization of European Catholicism as a hegemonic monolithic force in Europeanization and globalizing patterns since the seventeenth century.
Reviewed by Michel Chambon
Throughout this edited volume, contributors explore how Catholic missionaries have engaged with Asian societies during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries and how, through these interactions, Catholicism became a local reality.
Reviewed by Eilish Gregory
Against a backdrop of recent referendums and the mass immigration of people fleeing their homelands because of religious persecution, economic hardships, and war, there has been a historical reassessment about people travelling for similar reasons in the early modern period.
Reviewed by Joseph Malherek
There is an inherent fatalism in the term “interwar.” Yet, it remains a convenient descriptor for historians of the twentieth century.
Reviewed by Kristin Dickinson
At the core of Güneli’s film analyses are the diverse “soundtracks” of Akın’s films. In her specific focus on polyphony, Güneli builds on previous scholarship, which has situated Akın’s work in the tensions between a “Fortress Europe” marked by borders and exclusivity and a “New Europe” marked by mobility and integration.
By Elisabeth Krimmer
Koppetsch’s analysis links the emergence of extreme-right populist movements and the attendant preference for nationalist over cosmopolitan narratives to a paradigm shift from industrial-national modernity toward globalism.
Reviewed by Caroline Bruzelius
A provocative and stimulating book, one that is best-suited to historians of art and architecture.
Reviewed by Martin Fotta
Materializing Difference portrays relatively well-integrated Gabor Roma from the region of Transylvania in Romania, who enjoy a standard of living comparable to—if not higher than—that of their neighbors.
Reviewed by Giovanni Dettori
Carole Counihan explores food activism in southern Sardinia. She investigates the work of food activists living in Cagliari, Sardinia’s regional and provincial capital, and its surrounding areas.
Reviewed by David Harrisville
Over the last several decades, scholarship on the Wehrmacht—the German military during the Third Reich—has overturned the longstanding myth that its officers and men avoided involvement in the crimes of the Nazi regime.
Reviewed by Tony Foreman
Another theme developed by a couple of authors in this volume, traces the ways in which Soviet justice and its leading minds contributed to and complicated post-war international law. Perhaps the Soviets’ most important contribution was the introduction of the legal concepts of complicity and conspiracy.
Reviewed by Jennifer Miller
Thomsen Vierra poses important questions: Where does the conflicted sense of belonging come from for Turkish-Germans? How do they manage their hybridity?
Reviewed by Siobhán McIlvanney
What was it about certain types of writing that prioritized gender and overrode—or at least minimized—affiliation based on class or social rank?
Reviewed by Nicholas Ostrum
The Holocaust and North Africa sets out “to flesh out our understanding of the ways the Holocaust unfolded in North Africa, a region considered marginal… to the racial and genocidal policies of the Nazis and their allies.”
Reviewed by Aleksandra Pomiecko
Oil and the Great Powers makes a convincing case for the importance of using oil as a tool to unpack critical diplomatic, geopolitical, and economic moments in the global twentieth century.
Reviewed by Stephanie Yep
Faces of Muhammad is a magisterial work that offers a complex portrait of European identity.
Reviewed by Christoph Dieckmann
The question that Hanebrink tackles in this study is of crucial importance for analyzing antisemitic mass violence in the 20th century.
Reviewed by Maboula Soumahoro
The mention of “love and friendship” is a rare feature in a scholarly publication. Yet, these two noble and lofty feelings make their appearance in the foreword to The Fire Now. Love and friendship, to which “tenderness” is added later on, are used by the three editors of this collective project, as the core for their “continuous dialoguing.”
Reviewed by Brian Gebhart
For over a decade, historians of Central and Eastern Europe have begun to highlight how the subjects and citizens of states in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries did not always neatly subscribe to the identities projected onto them.
Reviewed by Anton Hemerijck
Ten years after the first economic crisis of twenty-first century capitalism, Europe seems to have passed the nadir of the Great Recession. Time to count our blessings: a rerun of the Great Depression has been avoided, and recovery, however timid, is under way while poverty is coming come down.
Reviewed by José Luis Fernández Castillo
From a general perspective, the authors illustrate how the act of translating was, on many occasions, at the center of political resistance both during the Spanish Civil War and in the long dictatorship that ensued.
Reviewed by Nergis Canefe
An engaging analysis of the Greek-Turkish population exchange that moves far beyond conventional attention to nationalism.
Reviewed by Felicity Chaplin
A committed and engaging enquiry into the contradiction between feminism and neoliberalism.
Reviewed by Thomas Nolden
By reframing Gershom Scholem, simply, as a member of a German Jewish bourgeois family, Jay Howard Geller presents a welcome and innovative study of the figure who single-handedly invented an entire field of Jewish religious studies.
Reviewed by Eric S. Einhorn
A compelling analysis of the adaptability of Nordic countries’ politics and policy.
Reviewed by Ilker Hepkaner
An exciting and innovative study of the American involvement in Turkey in the beginning of the Cold War.
Reviewed by Lia Brozgal
In their 2007 manifesto, “Pour une littérature-monde en français,” writers Michel Le Bris and Jean Rouaud announced to readers of Le Monde that a Copernican revolution had taken place but had yet to be acknowledged or named—the previous fall, writers hailing from beyond the hexagon had dominated France’s most prestigious literary prize competitions.
Reviewed by Sinem Adar
Once regarded as the poster child of Islam’s compatibility with democracy, Turkey is now drawing attention to itself for different reasons. The country’s rapid and unexpected authoritarian turn in recent years has unsettled many observers both at home and abroad.
Reviewed by Rachel A. Ankeny
We associate France with the highest of gastronomic ideals, producing artisanal products steeped in the terroir of its diverse regions.
Reviewed by Claudio Minca
The very question of practicing “history after Hitler” is an enormous one, and I believe that reflecting on its post-war developments is an important task that transcends the boundaries of this specific academic field.
Reviewed by Richard S. Fogarty
She has humanized the men and women of the past, making their unimaginable experiences of war and pain and caring accessible to us.
Reviewed by Mehmet Polatel
The book explores the rise and fall of Talaat Bey, his approach to politics, his role in the planning and implementation of the Armenian Genocide, and the impact of his policies and activities on the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
Reviewed by Jill S. Schneiderman
A narrative that takes readers from the deep geological past into the Anthropocene.
Reviewed by Hugh McDonnell
Both Julian Jackson’s and Grey Anderson’s work point to the equivalent recurring task for Charles de Gaulle, and in doing so lay out key political logics, values, and calculations guiding de Gaulle’s career.
Reviewed by Sartirios Zartaloudis
The EU stands proudly as the longest and most advanced process of international/transnational collaboration among different independent countries in an effort to pool sovereignty to common policies for all members, the most important accomplishments being the EU’s single market, the Euro, and cross-border co-operation of the Schengen area.
Reviewed by Alexander McConnell
These quibbles notwithstanding, State of Madness represents a significant contribution to the scholarship on late Soviet culture, nonconformist literature, and the dissident movement.
Reviewed by Neil Dooley
The European project has been eulogized, like clockwork, every couple of years since the Treaty of Rome.
Reviewed by Meghan Tinsley
Paradoxically, in interweaving the stories of metropolis and colonies, and in emphasizing their mutual constitution, Fradera cedes space for the oppressed.
Reviewed by David J. Burn
Hearing the City is a major contribution at several levels. It re-addresses existing literature from different perspectives as well as covers cities and material not previously treated.
Reviewed by Alison J. Murray Levine
Louis Malle was one of the most versatile, provocative, and independent directors of the postwar period.
Reviewed by Brad Blitz
Migrating Borders and Moving Times is an extraordinarily rich collection including many personal testimonies of migrants who experienced dislocation over extended periods of time. While much migration research still focuses on the shift between sending and receiving contexts, this book smashes that mode of thinking and in turn contributes to our understanding of the lingering effects of cross-border mobility as it is experienced, internalized, and refashioned.
Reviewed by David Ward
What is worse for Italy is that a vicious cycle of corruption seems destined to lead the nation ever more downward and further away from achieving the status of open-access social order.
Reviewed by Rosalind Sharpe
Surprisingly, given how important it is to daily life and the fate of governments, food hardly featured in discussions about Brexit.
Reviewed by Sergio Parussa
A detailed, harrowing account of the active participation of ordinary Italians in the deportation of Italian Jews between 1943 and 1945, as well as of the subsequent erasure of their responsibilities and absolution of all guilt during the postwar years.
Reviewed by M. Chloe Mulderig
At a time when nationalist discourse is very much on the rise worldwide, the issue of “European identity” has become pressing and contentious. Threats to the stability of the European Union, along with increasing electoral success of right-wing politicians, are, at least in some part, the consequence of growing mistrust of immigrants and refugees.
Reviewed by Stephen Rose
The more astonishing feature of the French tax regime is how few people pay income taxes. It was only after the end of WWII that more than 20 percent of the population paid income taxes. This share increased steadily to reach 65 percent in 1980.
Reviewed by Jodi Campbell
Christopher Kissane has written an engaging and informative book that introduces readers to the significant role of food in the social and cultural history of early modern Europe. He paints a broad picture of a range of communities, from Catholic to Protestant, northern to southern, elite to poor. These patterns are illustrated and enriched by the narration of numerous individual experiences of ordinary people whose food practices came into conflict with religious or secular authorities, and therefore left a paper trail.
Reviewed by Elandre Dedrick
Fast fashion has taken the world by storm in recent years, and this book gives ethnographic depth to a growing controversy.
Reviewed by Salvatore Cipriano
The notion that early medieval Ireland was an island of “saints and scholars,” a bastion of civilization-saving monks and their rich corpus of well-travelled books and manuscripts, is something of a popular truism. Scholars, too, have also readily identified Irish scholarship’s significant contributions to monastic, spiritual, and intellectual life in the eight and ninth centuries.
Reviewed by Christopher P. Gillett
In his new book, Electing the Pope in Early Modern Italy, 1450-1700, Miles Pattenden argues that the unique character of the papal electoral model contributed to the papacy’s increasing economic and structural problems throughout the early modern period.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Bishop
During 2013, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a member of the Russian feminist protest punk rock group Pussy Riot, went missing for twenty-seven days.
Reviewed by Kate Ince
Throughout her book, Chaplin readily acknowledges that la Parisienne is in many ways particularly a nineteenth-century figure, at her strongest in the Second Empire Paris of Haussman and during the early Belle Époque.
Reviewed by Stephen Gross
The surge of populist movements across Europe, which are assaulting the supranational powers of the European Union; the growth of massive financial institutions, which transcend borders with a web of monetary flows; the expansion of firms with global supply chains, which can relocate production around the world; the trade wars unleashed by President Donald Trump, which ostensibly aim to reassert American control over its own economy; can be understood as either causes of or reactions to the perceived decline of the nation state.
Reviewed by June Brawner
The qualities of wines have been linked to their places of origin for millennia, though perhaps never with such enthusiasm as in the twenty-first century.
Reviewed by Bart Bonikowski
A deep exploration of the relationship between symbolic practices, cultural narratives, and political beliefs and behavior in an era of radical politics.
Reviewed by Angela Acosta
Drawing on the concept of “Fortress Europe,” first used during the Second World War to refer to defending Europe from outsiders, Bermúdez applies the term to the dangerous process of migrants attempting to enter the EU via its southern boundaries
Reviewed by Ib Bondebjerg
For citizens of the European Union, navigating the relationship between the transnational and national is very complicated business. Though they are both European and national citizens, it is by far the nation which is most present in their everyday lives, their minds, and the cultures they imagine themselves to belong to.
Reviewed by Shoshana Adler
A core tenet of Heng’s understanding of race as an analytic is the way its operations transform especially visible individuals into symbolic representatives of an entire [hated, feared, or disavowed] population.
Reviewed by Brian Ladd
The widespread fascination with the landscape of underground railways is not difficult to understand. This is a realm frequently visited by large numbers of people who realize that they only glimpse fragments of a much larger system. The fact that these structures lie under the earth, and often lack illumination, ensures that many of us will wonder what might be hidden there, concealed by a cloak of darkness.
Reviewed by Jonah S. Rubin
In this timely volume, Zahira Aragüete-Toribio examines civil society forensic exhumations of Spanish Civil War dead in Extremadura, the region of western Spain where the author grew up. The region, which borders Portugal, saw some of the most intense fighting of the Spanish Civil War.
Reviewed by Alexandra Bousiou
By focusing on the interrelations between democratic accountability, political order, and orderly change, Johan Olsen approaches democratic accountability as a mechanism by which citizens can influence and even control the elected representatives, non-elected officials, and other power holders.
Reviewed by Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager
World War II was the most significant European and global conflict of the twentieth century – historically, politically, ideologically – a conflict, whose cultural legacy still greatly affects international relations on the world arena today and reminds us about le passé qui ne passe pas. War pages of history are comprised of complex and controversial narratives of perpetrators and victims: those who later became celebrated, glorified, forever commemorated; or those who become feared, loathed, pitied, or forever forgotten.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Carter
A crucial wine debate swirls around the concept of terroir. The term can be approximately, and beautifully, thought of as “somewhereness.”
Reviewed by Brittany Lehman
Historians often rely on a preponderance of evidence to stake their claims. In so doing, however, these scholars frequently get lost in the numbers and the trends, forgetting the individual. Jennifer Miller’s much-needed book shows readers that groups of people—even when they number in the millions—are made up of individuals, each of whom has unique experiences.
Reviewed by Philip Slavin
The history of food, both from the production and consumption side, has been arguably one of the most popular scholarly topics in social and economic history
Reviewed by Annie Jourdan
Callister’s book is an ambitious study as it examines the interplay of public opinion, national sentiment, and foreign policy during the period 1785-1815, not only in one, but in three countries.
Reviewed by Sabrina Papazian
Verdery highlights the vulnerability of her emotions and experiences by sharing fieldnotes where she describes feelings of hopelessness and despair during particular stressful moments in her ethnographic endeavors. She also documents her emotions as she carefully read her secret file in 2010. This introspective dive into Verdery’s psyche makes her research experience and writing relatable.
Reviewed by David A. Messenger
Drawing on traveler accounts from the late eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, as well as official tourist publications, memoirs, and regional newspapers, Lyons takes a transnational approach to understand exchanges, conceptions, and ideas that flourished in the region.
Reviewed by Catherine Leglu
This book presents a broad-ranging description of women’s social and familial networks in medieval Southern France through the archival traces left by a single woman, Agnès de Bossones (d.1342), a wealthy widow of Montpellier.
Reviewed by Rosalind Cavaghan
An analysis of the European state of minority women’s activism and critique.
Reviewed by A. Lorraine Kaljund
Veronica Davidov’s Long Night at the Vepsian Museum provides a punchy and compelling overview of cosmology, cultural production, and political ecology in Sheltozero, a small Vepsian village in Karelia, northeastern Russia.
Reviewed by Ada Engebrigtsen
Jennifer Mack’s The Construction of Equality, tells the fascinating story of a community of Syriac Orthodox refugees in Sweden who fled discrimination and persecution in Turkey and lived as stateless refugees in Lebanon before being admitted by Swedish authorities as part of a quota agreement in 1967.
Reviewed by Owen Parker
Brexit was one of the first book-length contributions to this rapidly growing set of stories. Broadly, it is in the camp of those interested in the survey-data-driven “who-voted-what-and-why” question. But unlike many analyses in that camp, it considers the results of the referendum within the broader context of a rigorous and detailed analysis of public opinion during the decade preceding the referendum and of the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), a growing political force, particularly during the latter part of that period.
Reviewed by Larissa Stiglich
In 2009, the year after Felix Ringel arrived to conduct his fieldwork in the former socialist model-city, Hoyerswerda received the new, dubious distinction of the fastest-shrinking city in all of Germany.
Reviewed by Larry Wolff
The Venetian republic and the Ottoman Empire, while frequently at war during the early modern centuries, also enjoyed extended periods of closely coordinated diplomatic and commercial relations.
Reviewed by Jennifer Walker
The lion’s share of scholarly literature that treats the subject of European musical theater during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries relegates itself to the study of “high” art, mainly in the form of opera. Musical Theater in Europe, 1830–1945, however, stands as a long-awaited corrective to this issue.
Reviewed by Tatjana Lichtenstein
In Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust: Language, Rhetoric, and the Traditions of Hatred, Beth Griech-Polelle sets out to investigate the relationship between antisemitism, the construction of a German racial community, and the persecution and murder of Jews during the Second World War.
Reviewed by Mary R. O’Neil
Until the last several decades, historians would have agreed that European witch beliefs had gradually disappeared following the decline of witch trials during the seventeenth century. However, contemporary researchers have effected an historic revision, documenting the persistence of these archaic beliefs into the twentieth century.
Reviewed by Daniela Irrera
Various contributions have flourished in recent years regarding the current migration and refugee crisis, raising awareness among academics, practitioners, policy-makers, and public opinion.
Reviewed by Colin Brown
Recognition of the immigrant-origin electorate, and especially of the Muslim electorate, has grown in Europe in recent years. Academic studies have highlighted the increasing descriptive representation of migrant-background politicians at the local and national level—and have asked why this increase has been uneven.
Reviewed by Brandon Hunter
A book about “the desire for belonging” that explores “the ways the cultural logics of kinship inform imaginings of self in relation to others.”
Reviewed by Scott Smith
This overview of tuition and subsidy regimes is important because of the dearth in empirical data around what drives tuition fees across the OECD, as well as what accounts for the stickiness of subsidies even when governments are led by rightist political parties that traditionally espouse greater privatization and deregulation.
Reviewed by Jamie Blake
Particularly within the realm of film, landmarks of creativity are rarely the product of a singular mind. Rather, a great cinematic experience is often the result of artistic collaboration at its finest.
Reviewed by Adrien Fauve
As a virtuosic ethnographer and social scientist, he traces evolving aspirations, creative behavior, and unexpected consequences.
Reviewed by Alejandro J. Gomez-del-Moral
As a history of the beliefs, expectations, motives, and modus operandi of the architects and urban planners who masterminded postwar Europe’s wave of shopping center construction, this volume is superb.
Reviewed by Yaron Ben-Naeh and Tamir Karkason
Jewish Salonica is a cornerstone of Sephardi legacy, without which it is impossible to describe the history of Sephardi Jews after their expulsion from the Iberian Peninsula. Alongside Istanbul, Salonica stands at the center of the study on Ottoman Jewry and the Jewish Sephardi Diaspora.
Reviewed by Jorge Marí
Spanish film aficionados will immediately recognize the image as a frame from Pedro Lazaga’s 1967 comedy Sor Citroën.
Reviewed by Danielle Hanley
Highmore makes a number of provocative and ultimately productive choices for his project. First, he chooses to use the terms “feeling” and “mood” over “affect.” He does so because these terms are vague and allow the author to move between habituated and the emotional, the quotidian and the intense aspects of lived experience.
Reviewed by Zita Eva Rohr
While the stories of medieval kings, and indeed their kingships, have received considerable scholarly attention for decades, if not for a hundred years or more, studies of medieval queens, and queenship in general, as legitimate fields of cross-disciplinary research really only received their “shot in the arm” following John Carmi Parson’s ground-breaking and durable collection of essays, Medieval Queenship, first published in 1993.
Reviewed by Alyssa Maraj Grahame
Despite owning the distinction of being the first national economy to experience the full brunt of the financial crisis in 2008, and the first to “recover” from it, Iceland is no exception to widespread patterns of ongoing consequences.
Reviewed by Crosbie Smith
This is an ambitious, provocative, and at times idiosyncratic book. The dust-jacket fly-leaf declares its broad aims as the telling of “the story of the complex relationship between the Victorians and their wondrous steamships … it is a fascinating glimpse into a world where an empire felt powerful and anything seemed possible – if there was an engine behind it.”
Reviewed by Michael Collins
The ambitious aim of Jansen and Osterhammel’s Decolonization is to provide a comparative evaluation of an immensely complex global historical process in a relatively concise volume. The authors revised and expanded their original 2013 German language version for the current text, whose purpose is to explain how the de-legitimation of European colonial rule over Africa and Asia during the course of the twentieth century involved a broad array of structural and normative factors.
Reviewed by Séverin Guillard
This music genre sheds light on postcolonial issues that, despite having been crucial in European politics, have often been put aside in most debates. As immigrants from former colonized countries settle in the heart of the ex-colonial capitals, hip hop helps them to “flip the script” on the dominant discourse on Europe, forcing the nation to see them as an inherent part of its identity.
Reviewed by Özden Ocak
The last few years have left their mark on the history of humankind with the deadliest shipwrecks known to the Mediterranean, unnumbered capsized “migrant boats” trying to reach the European shores, and dead bodies washed ashore after failed attempts to cross European maritime borders—such as Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian boy trying to reach the Greek Island of Kos from Turkey.
Reviewed by Christopher Tozzi
These essays offer valuable and fascinating information on the experiences of Muslim troops within diverse regions of Europe during the wars of the twentieth century.
Reviewed by Yousuf Al-Bulushi
When Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994, much of the Western world rejoiced at the prospect of a “reasonable” transition from apartheid to liberal democracy on the African continent. Mandela was seen by many as the best equipped to realize the goals of freedom, justice, and equality in the African country that had remained under white settler domination for longer than any other on the continent.
Reviewed by Keith Brown
There is an art to communicating the urgency, excitement, and significance of microhistory.
Reviewed by Cathrine Thorleifsson
Teitlebaum gathers striking empirical knowledge on the role of music and expressive culture in reconfiguring neo-nationalist thought and action.
Reviewed by Michelle Royer
Since the 1980s, Western countries have seen an increasing number of films by female directors who challenge the mainstream representation of women, and attempt to present women’s lives and identities in a new light. Kate Ince’s volume offer new readings of several key French and British female filmmakers of the last twenty-five years, and shows that feminist philosophers can provide the tools for rethinking female subjectivities in cinema.
Reviewed by Fearghal McGarry
The comparative approach has long been recognized as an effective means of analyzing nationalism, even if studies of nationalist movements remain mostly confined within nation-state frameworks. While the appeal of nationalist rhetoric is rooted in its claim to represent the unique values, aspirations, and destiny of a specific national community, comparative studies emphasize the political and cultural commonalities shared by various brands of nationalism.
Reviewed by Donald Sutherland
Until fairly recently, historians of the Revolution were reluctant to tell such stories but McPhee shows there were plenty of atrocities and lynchings along with the outrages of the revolutionary tribunals.
Reviewed by Graeme Callister
The French Revolution has long been acknowledged as a watershed in the history of France. Over the past two-and-a-quarter centuries it has spawned a plethora of studies from scholars, statesmen, political scientists, and polemical ideologues, while the wars that engulfed Europe from 1792-1815 are amongst the most written about in history.
Reviewed by Michelle Lynn Kahn
As rightwing nativist parties gain traction across the Continent, Europeans’ fraught relationship to ethnically and religiously diverse minority populations, and particularly Muslim migrants, is at the forefront of national and international debates. These debates cannot, however, be understood solely in the vacuum of the ongoing “refugee crisis,” nor in light of the rising Islamophobia since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Reviewed by Henri-Pierre Mottironi
While many fear a possible retreat of democracy following these reactionary surges, Daniel Ziblatt’s Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy demonstrates that strong and well-organized conservative parties paradoxically played a crucial role in the democratization and constitutional stability of European countries from the nineteenth century to the Second World War.
Reviewed by Caroline Ford
Enright argues that it was in the context of the 2005 riots, which first erupted in Clichy-sur-Bois, that Nicolas Sarkozy, who was elected right-wing president of France in 2007, proposed a regional development plan that would become Grand Paris.
Reviewed by Nicholas Ostrum
Soviet energy policy created burdens as well as opportunities, divisions as well as bridges, enduring routes of energy flows.
Reviewed by Theodore Weeks
This year, the centenary of what used to be called the “Great October Socialist Revolution,” has seen the publication of numerous new works on the epoch-making event, its causes, and its consequences. Among these is Gleb Albert’s impressive study of the role of “world revolution” in the Soviet state’s first decade.
Reviewed by Samantha Lomb
Julia Mickenberg’s American Girls in Red Russia, touches on such diverse topics as American women’s participation in pre-1917 revolutionary movements, famine relief in during the Civil War period, the creation of an American colony in Siberia, the establishment of an American-run English language newspaper in Moscow, modern dance, African-American theater and film performances, and creating pro-Russian World War II propaganda.
Reviewed by Steven G. Marks
What do we gain from looking at Russian history through the senses? On one level, it places front and center certain realities that are taken for granted or ignored in the scholarly literature. For instance, the cold climate that shocked the systems of early modern visitors from the West, as chronicled in Matthew P. Romaniello’s entry. Paying attention to the senses can also open our eyes to a new dimension of warfare, which is vividly illustrated in articles by Laurie S. Stoff on nurses in World War One and Steven G. Jug on soldiers in World War Two.
Reviewed by Tor Bukkvoll
For those who would like to read an engagingly written, well researched and balanced account of two of the most discussed military conflicts in recent times, Gerard Toal’s book is an excellent choice.
Reviewed by Georgeta Stoian Connor
Disrupted Landscapes is a valuable contribution to the study of environmental politics of Romania generally, and to an understanding of the transformations of land relations since the fall of the Golden Age era specifically. As the title suggests, we learn significant information about the workings of power in rural areas and the social and political mechanisms behind them. The volume brings together in one resource Dorondel’s impressive quantity of work on the topic of the transformation of the agrarian landscape of postsocialist Romania during the transition from collectivization to privatization.
Reviewed by Aleksandr Iakovlevich Gudov
Nikolai Charushin does not rank among the pantheon of famous historical figures, but this has its positive side. Charushin’s story demonstrates that the revolutionary movement in the last decades of the nineteenth century recruited new members not only from the educated strata of St. Petersburg or Moscow, but from the Russian periphery as well. This allows the reader to be able to learn a lot about the life of a provincial Russian town, of prison and exile, and about the relationship between the authorities and the revolutionaries in the periphery.
Reviewed by Judith Pallot
The problem of global food security was brought into sharp relief in 2008-2011 in food riots in the global south and the Arab Spring. These crises witnessed a sharpening of debate about how to feed the world. Advocates of the traditional food security approach maintain that the answer lies in “aid and trade” based on the world-price-governed staple food circuits that emerged in the twentieth century, and large-scale, high external-input corporate farms.
Reviewed by Alessandra Russo
2016 was marked by EU’s inter-institutional negotiations on a new Directive on combatting terrorism, aiming to reinforce the EU’s legal framework in preventing terrorist attacks. The Directive also complements the current legislation on the rights for the victims of terrorism and envisages enhanced rules for information exchange between the member states related to terrorist offences gathered in criminal proceedings
Reviewed by Alan Renwick
Whether or not you buy into the critical realist approach to understanding the reform of the CAP, the book is an interesting read and provides the reader with a useful overview of the development of the CAP.
Reviewed by Ari Ray
As Alison Johnston points out in her debut book, rising labor unit costs were indeed a defining characteristic of these member states in the early years of the Euro; most importantly in sectors such as public services or construction that are sheltered from trade.
Reviewed by Kurt Huebner
Since the global financial crisis, Germany experienced a massive turnaround of its fate and today is widely seen as the dominant power in Europe–in Lever’s words: Berlin rules. Over the last couple of years, the idea that Germany is again dominating Europe has become a mainstream view, not only in media, but also in scholarly literature.
Reviewed by Lauren Stokes
Reading the headlines in the summer of 2015, one might think that migration was a wholly new challenge for Europeans and specifically for Germans. Many of the contributors to this volume are explicit about their desire to intervene in this political culture of historical amnesia and in doing so contribute to what editor Cornelia Wilhelm identifies as “a new, more inclusive understanding of Germanness and of Germany’s role as a destination for immigrants.
Reviewed by Graeme Turner
The primary task undertaken in Familiar Stranger is one of intensely thoughtful theoretical introspection, an introspection that is directed at understanding the processes of cultural and intellectual self-fashioning that had gone into the formation of one of the most influential intellectuals of his generation.
Reviewed by Jane Nadel-Klein
Willson’s volume is well-written, mostly clear, and follows an intriguing puzzle: it seems that Icelandic women have a long history of going to sea, but the Icelandic public is largely unaware of this.
Reviewed by Paula Fass
As the history of children has taken its place among the important fields of inquiry over the past two decades, and as children’s lives provide valuable insights into human experience, it is inevitable that the children brutalized by Nazi Germany should become historical subjects.
Reviewed by Stephanie Maher
Borders are political and economic, material and subjective, hard and soft. By their very nature, borders are gendered, classed, and raced in important ways. Yet, they are also emergent and relational, rather than being fixed and hegemonic.
Reviewed by Bethany Hicks
While travel over Cold War borders became difficult, youth travel encouraged a new generational identity in the postwar era.
Reviewed by Catherine Epstein
Karl Haushofer, the man who popularized the term Lebensraum (living space), has been accused of many misdeeds.
Reviewed by Joseph Palis
Paul Grant’s fine contribution to film studies sheds light on the subversive filmmaking practices of French collectives during and in the aftermath of May 1968 events. It exemplifies a “deep mapping” of the specific historical moment that greatly influenced and provided filmic vocabularies to filmmakers in succeeding generations.
Reviewed by Tomas Antero Matza
Social and economic precarity, anomie, abandonment, dispossession and displacement—these, unfortunately, are hallmarks of our times. How, then, do ordinary people seek to make a difference in the lives of others?
Reviewed by Leslie Sklair
This handsome book is a notable first contribution to the new Yale University series “Great Architects/Great Buildings.” In his illuminating preface, Dal Co begins with Virginia Woolf’s essay, “How One Should Read a Book,” published in the Yale Review in October 1926, where Woolf observes that a book is always “an attempt to make something as formed and controlled as a building.”
Reviewed by Nicholas Clark
From the deprivation that occurred in the aftermath of the Second World War, which ranged from ill-health, rationing, food and housing shortage, to the crushing impact on artistic life, there emerged in Britain an intention to rebuild and improve all aspects of social and cultural existence. It was from this context, of commemorating resilience and celebrating ingenuity, that the 1951 Festival of Britain was planned.
Reviewed by Stephen Royle
More satisfying in many ways are substantial chapters that demonstrate a methodology, which not only deepens their explanation, but would also encourage other scholars to take up the ideas for further study.
Reviewed by Roger Ebbatson
The permeable generic boundaries between Hardy’s prose and poetry sometimes gesture towards a version of the Derridean thesis that a literary genre is dissolved at the moment of its establishment.
Reviewed by Theodore R. Weeks
The field of Jewish studies has developed considerably over the past few decades. In particular, the field, which has never closed off from other disciplines and area studies, has progressively opened up to insights and topics that are of interest to broader scholarly and social groups, from anthropologists, to historians, to social scientists of all stripes.
Reviewed by Michael Smith
The book is undoubtedly a historical study, but in pursuing a wide-ranging account of the years 1969-1982, it suggests a number of important themes for the non-historian, especially the student of International Relations.
Reviewed by Briana Smith
This book offers an important contribution to the trend in punk studies to de-center punk from its Anglo-American origin story and examine the multi-directional influence of punk cultures across the globe.
Reviewed by Sophie Gonick
In the decade following the financial collapse of Ecuador, hundreds of thousands of migrants left the country to make a home elsewhere. For a sizable portion of this population, Madrid was the ultimate destination.
Reviewed by Donald Carter
The author’s extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Italy, Ghana, and Nigeria informs her exploration of the complementarity of African Pentecostalism and Catholicism at the level of shared sacramental and incarnational principles evident in both traditions.
Reviewed by David Stegall
Kaplan chooses a linear approach to her task, giving the reader a chronological narrative, from Camus as clerk, writing The Stranger, to the current life of Camus’ first novel as it inspires Kamel Daoud’s lauded 2013 The Meursault Investigation.
Reviewed by Klaus-Jürgen Hermanik
The monograph, with its particular case studies, bring abstract categories of power relations between Hungary and the EU to the forefront. The chapters on the paprika ban, the foie gras scandal, and the red mud environmental catastrophe should help to make these power relations visible and understandable.
Reviewed by Miriam Shadis
Accusations of being bad mothers, sexual deviants, schemers, or profligates challenged Christian ideals and political stability.
Reviewed by Muireann O’Dwyer
This is a book that shows the gendered nature of the crisis, in particular looking at the gendered nature of the institutional reforms, and the gendered impacts of the austerity response.
Reviewed by Denis M. Provencher
Perreau’s book encourages us to seek and create new narratives where being queer means simultaneously “coming and going” instead of simply “coming out.”
Reviewed by Dominic Thomas
Achille Mbembe’s writings are groundbreaking, truly interdisciplinary in nature, bridging institutional divides between the humanities and social sciences, and affording him recognition as one of the most challenging and stimulating thinkers at work today.
Reviewed by Dr. Kim Simpson
Peakman carefully negotiates the slippery definitions of erotica and pornography, and illuminates the myriad ways that medical and scientific discourses are rehearsed, considered, and refuted by erotic materials.
Reviewed by Pamela Dale
In the twenty-first century, the mental health of children is under constant scrutiny and is a topic that is regularly discussed by the print and broadcast media, drawing on reports from researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, service-providers, charities, and user-led organizations.
Reviewed by Alexandros Kyriakidis
This book describes the origins and differences between the economic traditions of France and Germany.
Reviewed by Lucia Quaglia
The sovereign debt crisis in the euro area, which has not been fully addressed and has the potential to re-ignite at any time, has threatened the very survival of the euro and potentially of the European Union.
Reviewed by Louise Michelle Fitzgerald
This book tells a story of institutional norms, critical junctures, policy equilibrium, and path dependency.
Reviewed by John Parham
Taylor’s literary criticism is supported by a historical frame, geographical foundation, and thematic focus, the latter encompassing the sophisticated engagement with environmental science, which characterizes the best ecocriticism.
Reviewed by Brídín Carroll
This book aims to address a gap in scholarship on European rural history. Specifically, it tackles a dearth of academic work on the emergence of modern agriculture in Western Europe, which occurred rapidly following World War II.
Reviewed by Lada V. Kochtcheeva
The rise of global information age impacts power relations in the world, boosts the spread of global norms and principles, and affects political structures and cultures of states. In addition to the spread of global information networks, globalization fosters economic interdependence, technological innovation, multilateral institutions, and the proliferation of non-state actors, which are deemed to weigh profoundly in global affairs.
Reviewed by Alexander Angelov
As the cultural pendulum moves from one direction to the other, we experience a radicalization of values because the amplification of convictions on one end triggers reactions on the other. Construed as polar opposites in popular imaginaries since the Enlightenment, religion and secularism have generated different anthropologies and modes of being.
Reviewed by Garret J Martin
Geopolitical Constructs challenges our conception of war by emphasizing a number of key and interrelated themes. This includes underlining the ways by which war transforms individuals and places, reshapes interactions between government and businesses, or leads to the creation of new bureaucracies.
Reviewed by Amy Hubbell
As Europe continues to face the largest wave of refugees pouring into its borders since World War II, past influxes of migrants across the continent offer important lessons about national identity and integration. With Germany receiving the vast majority of refugees, and France ranked in the top three destinations, Vertriebene and Pieds-Noirs in Postwar Germany and France is particularly timely.
Reviewed by Marten Boon
This book is as inspiring as it is bewildering, mainly because of the sheer scope of the book and its transnational ambitions. The authors, Portuguese historian of technology Maria Paula Diogo, and German historian Dirk van Laak, aim for a transnational history of technology of Europe’s global relations since 1850.
Reviewed by Brittany Lehman
Working with French, German, and English language sources, she demonstrates the complex and often lethal relationship between the West German, French, and Algerian states. Part of a recent branch of scholarship exploring West Germany beyond the East-West divide, von Bülow deftly demonstrates that the Cold War was a global conflict, which influenced independence movement and decolonial projects.
Reviewed by Jonathan Durrant
Davies shows how Renaissance maps illustrated human variation across the globe as diplomats, soldiers, merchants, and travelers understood it.
Reviewed by Nathan Delaney
Fugger’s impact on contemporary politics and business practices during the Renaissance was arguably as great as any shaped by members of the Medici, de Rothschild, or Rockefeller families.
Reviewed by Samantha Fox
The Berlin Wall may have fallen twenty-five years ago, but Germans still talk about “Die Mauer im Kopf”—the wall in the head—the cultural and psychological divisions between East and West that continue to endure. Ben Gook’s Divided Subjects, Invisible Borderlands: Re-Unified Germany After 1989, examines the unfinished business of reunification.
Reviewed by Peter Clark
This book combines recent research on the history of gardening and arboriculture, as well as urban and environmental approaches.
Reviewed by Fabian Frenzel
At times Berlin feels overburdened with history. Every stone in the city has a story to tell, and often these stories are grim.
Reviewed by Kelly McKowen
Though Sweden has lost little of its luster, it is no longer the favored synonym for egalitarian prosperity it once was.
Reviewed by Thaddeus Sunseri
Bernhard Gissibl’s work is the first comprehensive treatment of the origins of big game hunting, national parks, wildlife reserves, megafauna protection, and even “safari tourism” under German colonial rule in the former German East Africa.
Reviewed by Rüstem Ertuğ Altınay
The author combines innovative archival research with multi-sited ethnography to analyze the growing Islamic fashion market and how Muslim individuals, particularly young women, engage with fashion as they negotiate the politics of identity and belonging.
Reviewed by Lukas Haffert
In the post-Piketty world, economic inequality has returned to the top of the agenda of political economists with a vengeance. A flurry of research projects has started to investigate the sources and the consequences of growing disparities between the rich and the poor.
Reviewed by Lucy J. Wishart
Waste has traditionally been managed in two ways: buried or burnt. These forms of waste management have caused a myriad of environmental problems including polluting water, air, and soil; endangering wildlife and waterways; and contributing to climate change.
Reviewed by Lorenzo Genito
Due to the Euro crisis, the Eurozone has become divided between a relatively wealthier, more successful core and the economically disadvantaged periphery.
Reviewed by Kraig Larkin
Fumo tells a fascinating tale about smoking, health, and risk during Italy’s cigarette century.